When only 15 percent of voters participate in an election, it is time to ask if there are better ways to engage the electorate.
Roanoke Councilman Sherman Lea understands the value of voter turnout. When participation appeared sluggish in the city’s Northwest on election day, his son, charged with mobilizing voters, sprang into action, boosting attendance in those precincts.
Lea would have won without the late-hour surge, though it’s unclear whether Mayor David Bowers would have. Still, Lea wonders: Is 15 percent voter turnout as good as Roanoke gets?